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tv   [untitled]    November 7, 2012 5:00pm-5:30pm PST

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. >> good evening and welcome to the november 7, 2012 meeting of the san francisco board of appeals. the presiding officer is board president chris hwang and joirched by commissioner fung and commissioner hurtado and lazarus. one seent is currently vacant and pursuant to the charter the board may hold a meeting when there is a vacancy. the board may overrule the action of a department action. to my left is city attorney robert brian. he will provide the board with any needed legal advice this evening. at the board is christopher pacheco.
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we are joined by representatives by some of the departments that have cases before the board . scott sanchez is here and representing the planning department and ethics -- >> >> planning commission and we have ed ris kin here and christine who is the director of the municipal services and taxis and have an officer from the san francisco police department permit bureau. if you could go over the guidelines and conduct the swearing in progress. >> the board requests that you turn off all phones and proceedings. please have conversations in the hallways. the rules are as follows representatives each have seven minutes to present their cases and three minutes for
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rebuttals. parties affiliated within these matters must be complete within that time and members of the public have three minutes to address the board but no rebuttals. to assist the board members who wish to speak on an item are asked but not required to have a speaker card what you come to the podium. cards and pens are available on the left side of the podium. the board welcomes your comments and suggestions. there are customer satisfaction forms on the left side of the podium. if you have a question please speak to board staff during a break or call the office tomorrow morning. we are located on davos avenue. this
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meeting is live on sfgtv and d.v.d's are available for purchase directly from sfg tv. thank you for your attention. at this time we will conduct the swearing in process. if you intend to testify at tonight's proceedings and have the board give it evidentiary weight please stand and raise your right hand and say i do an sworn or affirmed. any member of the public may speak without this oath pursuant to the rights in the sunshine ord neans in the administrative code. thank you. do you sol elementally wear that the testimony you will give is the truth and nothing but the truth? thank you. >> thank you. president and commissioner woos we have one housekeeping item this 11 and
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has to do with 11a and b and allocation permit at 2374 greenwich street and the items have been administratively dismissed and will not be heard this evening, so moving to item one which is public comment for items not on tonight's agenda. anyone that would like to speak on this item? please step forward. the other microphone please. >> my name is mr. orion and my understanding is the jurisdiction of this board is to oversee any commission and every department of the city -- >> mr. orion, are you sure you're not addressing the board under item 4a? >> no. i want to see if i am correct or no and this board's jurisdiction is over every department and commission in the city and have
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those don't have hundreds of thousands of dollars when wronged to approach this commission so this commission would access the commission every department and if they violated anything you would overrule that and not everyone has thousands of dollars and have the board of appeals address the concern and doesn't matter which department or commission. that is my understanding based on what i read -- what you call it? the internet about board of appeals. this is the purpose of the board of appeals. it is to citizens who do not have tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of dollars and the board of appeals and over jurisdictions and commissions and uss what happens and you decide. that's all i have. >> thank you. any other
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general public comment? >> okay. seeing none we will move to commission two which is commission comments and questions. commissioners anything. >> madam director was item 10 not continued? >> item 10 has not been continued. okay. any public comment under this item? okay. seeing none then item three is the board's consideration and possible adoption of the meeting minutes for october 24, 2012. >> [inaudible] >> okay. there is a motion to adopt. is there any public comment on the minutes? okay. seeing none mr. pacheo. >> on that motion then from commission lazarus to adopt the
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october 24, 2012 motion. on that motion. vice president fung. >> aye. >> president wan. >> aye. >> commissioner. >> aye. >> those are adopted. >> thank you. we will call item 4a a jurisdiction request. the board received a letter from mark gruberg from united taxicab workers and asking the board invoke over the mta resolution adopted on september 4, 2012 which authorizes the issuance of temporary full time medallions for a limited time. the united taxicab workers filed appeal against the resolution and this appeal was rejected for lack of subject matter jurisdiction by the board office after consultation with the city
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attorney. public hearing was held and matter was continued to allow president hwang to participate in the final vote. we have with the president's agreement offered additional time for the parties to speak specifically in regard to the city attorney opinion that was not available to mr. gruberg prior to the last hearing. each side will be given three minutes and we are ready for you. >> before you begin i did want to put on the record i did review the video from the last meeting where this subject was addressed. >> good evening then president hwang, board members. first let me thank the president and director goldstein for furnishing the city attorney's opinion and affording us the opportunity to respond to it and i'm going to do it point by point. the city attorney contends proposition a of 2007
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stripped the right for taxi permit decisions from the charter, and i addressed this at length the last time, but let me say that right persists in the clear language of the charter language and no where in proposition a or the it weres presented to the voters was the loss of appeal rights ever mentioned. two charter sections here -- here it is can be easily reconciled and it didn't affect the right of appeal. the city attorney further claims that the mta's action was administrative decision and immune from appeal and even if a special class of permits is legislative act those issuance is grant subject to appeal. on that point the city attorney argues that the mta's was not a grant of permits because it required subsequent administrative action, but that action was simply a staff decision about the distribution of the med dallians. were we
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required to wait for the permits to be issued and file 10 separate appeals against each of the recipient companies? suppose hypothetically a decision was made to issue 150 medallions to individuals and do we have to wait the issuance of 150 appeals? that is nonsensical and under mind the right to appeal. the only way to do it is from the resolution itself. the city attorney also contends that the grant companies was not a denial to drivers on the waiting list, but the transportation code is clear that medallions only issued to qualified cab drivers. issuing them to anyone else necessarily denies them to the person authorized to receive them and with that connection bear in mind even if you accept the city attorney's argument that a person denied a med dallian doesn't have the right of appeal under the charter that clearly
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exists in the police code. the city attorney says that our recourse here would be to ask the mta board to revisit its decision. that's the same board whose agency is to gain money from its implementation. the appeal from this board which can take a fresh and objective look at the decision is not only right under the charter and the municipal code but the only fair and judicious way to proceed in this matter. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. we can hear from the mta now. mr. ris kin. >> thank you madam president and members of the board. i am ed riskin director of transportation. a position that was established by the voters of san francisco with prop e in
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1999 which put together the transportation functions of the city, transit, bicycle, traffic and pedestrian, and recognition that the transportation system is an integrated system, and one that can't be managed by individual decision makers or bodies, so when the voters put together the mta, first in 99 and again in 2007, it was with the intent and the mandate for the mta to manage the system in a comprehensive way, and for the board of directors to have the authority to make consistent and integrated decisions that balanced the different transportation needs of the whole system. for the example that's the subject of this appeal this was a decision by the mta board with regard to the criteria for a set of permits that the number of permentds, how they would be issued. it's
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a policy decision of the board that is part of an interrelated set of policy decisions and not just about taxis but the rest of the transportation system, and furtherance of the transit first policy which was put into the chapter with the passage of those propositions so the ability of the board and the necessity of the mta board to be able to make policy level decisions for the entire transportation system that understand and reflect all of the different parts of the system, traffic, taxis, transit, bicycles is really core, and i think fundamental to what the voters intended and mandated with the passage of those two propositions so to the extent that individual policy decisions of that board, particularly for one segment of what our realm of responsibility is are subject
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to being dismissed compromises the mandate i believe the voters gave to the sf mta to manage the entire transportation system of the city. individual permit decisions is not what we're talking about. we're talking about policy level decision on behalf of the mta board of directors that's part of the web of policy making that they're making as mandated by the people to improve the transportation system in the city and to advance the city's transportation transit first policy, so i very much appreciate your time tonight in consideration of this matter. thank you. >> okay thank you. we are joined about evening by supervisor scott wiener who would like an opportunity to speak to the board on this matter and with the president's consent we can hear from him now. thank you.
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>> thank you very much commissioners for providing me the opportunity to speak to you tonight. this is actually my first time at the board of appeals since taking office two years ago. we're requested to come down here often and i almost never do. i am here tonight because i am absolutely passionate about improving the entirely deficient taxi service that we have in san francisco, and i believe this board shouldn't be inserting itself as hearing policy appeals from the mta, which the voters have entrusted with making and balancing all the competing interests around taxi service in san francisco, including most importantly the needs of the riding public who by in large are not here tonight, and i bet you many of them are standing out on a corner right now unable to get a cab and we are finally
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moving in a positive direction in san francisco in terms of cab service, and i believe that the mta pursuant to its charter powers should be able to move in that direction without having appeals -- what are effectively appeals of a policy come to the board of appeals and i can grant you this will not be the last. every policy decision that mta takes over cab matters will be appealed to this board. we cannot be a transit first city without a good cab system. muni is not enough, and mta, and i frequently a critic of the mta. sometimes i don't think they move quick enough in areas. mta is fiejly moving in a positive direction in terms of increasing the number of cabs and improving dispatch and doing the things that we need to truly be a transit first city that has good cab service, and i am deeply
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concerned if the board were to accept jurisdiction, were to review a policy decision by the mta that has balanced so many competing needs it would set a terrible precedent, and i just want to remind you what i remind myself before every board of supervisors meeting that we are all representing the 800,000 people in san francisco, not just the people that show up at public comment, but we are representing all of the people that rely on cab service and many can't be here. people work. people have kids, and i just think that we need to keep in mind the entire needs of our cab system and of our transportation system in san francisco and i thank you again for your time. >> thank you. >> thank you. we will take public comment next. can i see a show of hands of the number of people that are interested in speak something okay. what i
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ask you to do then since you're able to line up on the far side of the room. we need to keep the door way clear on the right, my right, and if you haven't already prepared a speaker card if you're willing to give us your name it will help in the preparation of minutes. you can turn it in when you speak. >> are there people sitting down giving public testimony tonight? >> again, raise your hand if you want to speak. >> i know you might change your mind and i want a sense now. i would like to give them three minutes. >> hello. my name is tarry houseman. i'm a cab driver and resident of san francisco. frankly i think it's bad precedent that the city had two bites of the apple with director riskin and supervisor wiener
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and the appellant only had one bite of the apple. the issue is not whether or not permits are issued but who they're issued but let me speak to why you want to take jurisdiction, and you can hear all the rest later. the board of appeals is the body to whom for 80 years the people have turned to for a voice when something goes wrong in government. taxi cap issues have come under you no matter the umbrella and the police department or the taxi commission or mta. why doesn't it matter now who regulates us now? why should we lose rights because sf mta is regulating us? you heard individual appeals over the last couple of years since sf mta has had jurisdictio